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Association Brings Together Over 100 Credit Union Leaders and Lawmakers 

There have been major developments over the past few days concerning paid leave laws in Maryland and the District.

Maryland's Healthy Working Families Act took effect February 11, 2018 after the House failed to vote on a Senate proposal to delay implementation until July 1. 2018. More details are below.

In the District, D.C. Council Chair Phil Mendelson  has abandoned efforts to address business community concerns by amending the Universal Paid Leave Act. Chairman Mendelson indicted that an agreement could not be reached on how to modify the law, but did not rule out tweaking it in the future. More details are below.

The Association, in partnership with Kaufman & Canoles, P.C., is hosting a webinar on employment law impacting Maryland and DC credit unions on Wednesday, February 21 from 10-11:30 a.m. You can register here

Here's the Maryland and DC political roundup:
  • In the race for Maryland's 6th Congressional District, Potomac businessman David Trone has committed over $1.5 million of his own money to his campaign. He's brought in another $177,000 from donors. Trone spent $13.4 million of his own money in 2016 in an unsuccessful  bid to win the Democratic primary in the 4th District.
  • The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee added Rep. Andy Harris, who represents Maryland's 1st Congressional District, to its list of targeted races for the 2018 election.
  • President Trump's budget would keep the FBI in DC instead of moving its headquarters to prospective locations in suburban Maryland or Northern Virginia.
A bill giving certain liens priority over mortgages or deeds of trust was opposed by the Association in testimony two weeks ago. It received an unfavorable report and will not move out of committee.

Our annual legislative reception held last week in Annapolis attracted over 100 credit union leaders and Maryland lawmakers. Thank you to everyone who was able to attend and share the credit union difference directly with Maryland's legislators! 

John Bratsakis
District of Columbia Legislative Update

Universal Paid Leave
D.C. Council Chair Phil Mendelson has dropped efforts to modify the Universal Paid Leave Act. Proposed bills would have eased the tax burden on businesses and avoided the creation of a new District bureaucracy to oversee the benefits. The Paid Leave Act passed in December 2016 with strong support from Mendelson and opposition from Mayor Muriel Bowser and the business community. A 0.62 percent employer-paid payroll tax funds the paid leave program which offers eight weeks of paid time off for new parents, six weeks to care for an ill relative and two weeks of personal sick time to workers in D.C.
During a political debate last week, Chairman Mendelson blamed failed negotiations for his decision to drop efforts to modify the law. Mendelson also said that he has not ruled out tweaking the law at some point.
The Department of Employment Services, which oversees the paid leave program,  released a report earlier this month outlining a timeline for paying out benefits by 2020.
Maryland General Assembly Update

Implementation of the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act
Efforts to delay the implementation of Maryland's Healthy Working Families Act were unsuccessful. While the Senate voted to delay implementation until July 1. 2018, the House failed to take up the measure. The paid leave law took effect on February 11, 2018.
Some of the key provisions in the new Maryland law include:  
  • Credit unions (and other employers) must provide paid, earned sick and "safe" leave if the employer has fifteen or more employees.  This compares to the 50-employee limit for coverage under the federal FMLA.
  • Earned paid leave can be used for a variety of medical, maternity or paternity, or "safety" (e.g., domestic violence, stalking) reasons.
  • Employees must accrue earned sick and safe leave at a rate of not less than one hour of leave for every thirty hours worked.
  • Employees can accrue up to 40 hours of paid leave per year; may generally carry over up to 40 hours from year to year, and can use up to 64 paid hours per year.  (If employers already provide undifferentiated paid time off ("PTO") in excess of the requirement, there is no need to separate out the leave from vacation time.)
  • Employers must provide the employee with individualized notice of the amount of paid leave earned and available (which can be satisfied by an online system).
  • Employers are responsible for providing notice to employees of their entitlement to earned sick and safe leave.  The Maryland Commissioner of Labor and Industry is working on an appropriate poster and model policies.
  • The Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (DLLR) created a website for more information and a draft sample of employee notice poster. The Association will provide sample policies being developed by DLLR once they are available.
SB0216 - Condominiums and Homeowners Associations - Priority of Liens - Included Charges 
Authorizing certain interest, costs, charges, fines, fees, and special assessments to be included in the portion of a condominium's or homeowners association's lien that is given priority over a claim of the holder of a certain first mortgage or first deed of trust. 
Position: Unfavorable Report by Judicial Proceedings. The Association testified in opposition on Jan. 31 as the bill would have  would have expanded the priority of liens law for Homeowners and Condominium Owners Associations.